Am enriching collection of laid back, acoustic(ish) folksy ballads.
Okay. Five tracks only here, so they need to be ‘bangers’ (in clumsy misuse of the term) to make it count. Well, The Accidentals have certainly teamed up with some top-draw songwriters for this lockdown, Zoom facilitated quintet of tracks. Even this hopelessly out of touch writer has heard of Kim Richey, Tom Paxton and Mary Gauthier (amongst others who lend their talents here). The Accidentals themselves (Sav and Katie, alongside Michael), are classical musicians by trade, but they’re indie/folk/punk/country types for the love of it. As a result they’ve travelled the world, from Nashville, bringing all kinds of music to all kinds of people.
Firstly, let’s skip to one of the best tracks. ‘Might As Well Be Gold’, co-written by Maia Sharp, heralded with the thud of a floor tom and a burbling electric guitar, is the strongest melody by far. Of course, as you’d expect these guys bring the strings beautifully into hazy, laid back arrangements. ‘All Shall Be Well’ (Gauthier/Harris co-penned) is a strong contender too – an entirely uncomplicated three-chord message of hope. Opener ‘Wildfire’ tells of unexpected sadness, plans “up in smoke”, but is mysteriously elusive on greater detail.
Elsewhere ‘Night Train’ is the American rail (not road) story, the happenings in the back yards of real America, observed from Amtrak’s perspective. All of the songs feature the woozy vocal of Katie Larson front and central, and these five slow glowing, fuzzy feeling collaborations play to her voice succinctly.